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Retail Investors Like Denver


Retail sales in Denver are still rising. The most recent example is the sale of Willow Run Shopping Center in Westminster, a 91,500 SF retail center anchored by Safeway off N. Zuni St that traded for $10.8M to Gart Investment Co in Denver (with a closing cap at 6.56%). Faris Lee Investments' Richard Chichester, Jeff Conover, Tom Chichester, and Shaun Riley brokered the sale. (A joke inspired by the sign above: What made Willow Run? There was a Chase. Where did it hide? A Safeway. What transporation did it use to getaway? Heavenly Aromotherapy and Unique Gifts.)


According to a recent Marcus & Millichap report, declining retail vacancies (hitting 7.6% by the end of this year, the lowest in five years) mixed with rising rents (reaching $16.13/SF, a 2.6% increase from the end of last year) is making investors salivate. Couple Denver's Golden Age economy of a strong diverse job market and the money is now there. Grocery-anchored leads the demand pack, seeing caps sub-6% in some cases. Value-add and even redevelopment though can command caps in the 6% to 7% range. That led to Nursery Acres purchasing a 75k SF Cabela's retail store in Grand Junction in the past few weeks. Transwestern's Brad Cohen and Larry Thiel (pictured) brokered the deal for the buyer.